Special Issue "Impact of Various Energy Efficiency Measures on the Thermal and Energy Performance of Buildings"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ali Bahadori Jahromi
Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor in Civil Engineering, University Of West London, UK
Interests: building simulation; building energy efficiency; climate change; sustainable engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Substantial reduction in the amount of CO2 emissions, resulting from human activities, is required to curb global warming, which has led to the development of numerous measures to ensure that cleaner and more efficient energy sources are utilised in all facets of human lives.

Globally, buildings account for almost half of the energy use in both developed and developing nations. Commercial buildings account for a sizeable proportion of this building energy consumption and future energy consumption trend will probably continue to increase. Therefore, concerted effort is currently being directed at development and application of effective building strategies and measure to improve energy efficiency in buildings. Moreover, energy efficiency measures are more cost effective in commercial buildings because they are typically larger than dwellings.

This Special Issue aims to evaluates the impact of various energy efficiency measures and technologies on the thermal and energy performance of residential and commercial buildings.

This Special Issue includes selected articles that contribute to existing knowledge on various aspect of building energy consumption, simulation and improving the energy efficiency of buildings in light of anthropogenic global warming.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect and present innovative research results, advancements and established methodologies directed towards improvement of building energy performance, occupants thermal comfort of buildings (residential and non-residential). In this framework this Special Issue aims at collecting contributions that include:

  • Improvement in building energy efficiency (domestic, non-domestic, public and other buildings)
  • Estimation and validation of energy consumption in new and existing buildings
  • Strategies and technologies to improve building energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy
  • Heat pumps
  • Heat recovery, cogeneration or tri-generation systems
  • Building refurbishment and retrofitting
  • Building simulation modelling

It is believed that this Special Issue can contribute to the global effort to improving energy efficiency in buildings in a sustainable manner, thereby helping to reduce the adverse effect of global climate change.

Dr. Ali Bahadori-Jahromi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

References

Radwa, S.; B-Jahromi, A.; Mylona, A., Godfrey, P. and Cook, D. (2018) Retrofit of a UK residential property to achieve nearly zero energy building standard, Advances in Energy Research, An International Journals, Vol. 7, No. 1 (2018). Techno-Press, ISSN: 2287-6316 (Print), 2287-6324 (Online)

Rotimi, A., Bahadori-Jahromi, A., Mylona, A., Godfrey, P. and Cook, D. (2017) Impact of cavity extract fans on the thermal and energy performance of existing UK hotel. Journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability. DOI:10.1680/jensu.17.00017

Lykartsis, A.; B-Jahromi, A.; and Mylona, A. (2017) Evaluation of thermal comfort and cooling loads for a multistory building, Advances in Energy Research, An International Journals, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2017) 65-77. Techno-Press, ISSN: 2287-6316 (Print), 2287-6324 (Online) DOI: 10.12989/eri.2017.5.1.065

Bahadori-Jahromi, Ali; Rotimi, Abdulazeez; Mylona, Anastasia; Godfrey, Paulina; Cook, Darren. (2017) Impact of Window Films on the Overall Energy Consumption of Existing UK Hotel Buildings. Journal of Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 5, 731-754, May 2017. doi:10.3390/su9050731

Lykartsis, A, Bahadori-Jahromi, A, Mylona, A. (2017) Ventilation techniques to reduce risk of overheating under extreme hot weather conditions of a school building for various locations in the UK, CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium 2017: Delivering Resilient High Performance Buildings, 5-6 April, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom.

Lykartsis, A, Bahadori-Jahromi, A, Mylona, A, Fadejeva, L and Coombs, P. (2017) Effect of building development on the risk of flooding under extreme rainfall. The 8th International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics: IMCIC 2017, 21-24 March 2017, Orlando, USA.

Amoako-Attah, J. and B-Jahromi, A. (2016) The Impact of Different Weather Files on London Detached Residential Building Performance—Deterministic, Uncertainty, and Sensitivity Analysis on CIBSE TM48 and CIBSE TM49 Future Weather Variables Using CIBSE TM52 as Overheating Criteria. Journal of Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 11,1194-1212, November 2016; doi:10.3390/su8111194

Amoako-Attah, J. and B-Jahromi, A. (2016) Impact of Conservatory as passive solar design of UK dwellings. Institution of Civil Engineers Journal of Engineering Sustainability, Volume 169, Issue 5, October 2016.

Amoako-Attah, J. and B-Jahromi, A. (2015) Method-comparison analysis of dwellings temperatures in the UK. Institution of Civil Engineers Journal of Engineering Sustainability, Volume 168, Issue 1, February 2015.

Hubert, J. and B-Jahromi, A. (2014) Style over substance: The homeowner’s dilemma spend on appearance, or energy reduction. The 14th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality (CONVR 2014)., Sharjah, UAE16-18 November 2014.

Amoako-Attah, J. and B-Jahromi, A. (2014) Evaluating the Impact of Conservatory as a passive solar design on energy performance and internal temperatures of UK detached. The 14th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality (CONVR 2014)., Sharjah, UAE16-18 November 2014.

Amoako-Attah, J. & B-Jahromi, A. (2014) Impact of Standard Construction Specification on Thermal Comfort in UK Dwellings. Advances in Environmental Research (AER): An International Journal of interdisciplinary research in environmental science, technology, and management 3(3); September 2014

Keywords

  • Building simulation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy consumption
  • sustainability
  • Building retrofit
  • Sustainable engineering
  • Combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP)
  • Combined heat and power (CHP)

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Impact on System Performance When Renovating a Multifamily Building Stock in a District Heated Region
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2199; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082199 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
In Sweden, 90% of multifamily buildings utilize district heat and a large portion is in need of renovation. The aim is to analyze the impact of renovating a multifamily building stock in a district heating and cooling system, in terms of primary energy [...] Read more.
In Sweden, 90% of multifamily buildings utilize district heat and a large portion is in need of renovation. The aim is to analyze the impact of renovating a multifamily building stock in a district heating and cooling system, in terms of primary energy savings, peak power demands, electricity demand and production, and greenhouse gas emissions on local and global levels. The study analyzes scenarios regarding measures on the building envelope, ventilation, and substitution from district heat to ground source heat pump. The results indicate improved energy performance for all scenarios, ranging from 11% to 56%. Moreover, the scenarios present a reduction of fossil fuel use and reduced peak power demand in the district heating and cooling system ranging from 1 MW to 13 MW, corresponding to 4–48 W/m2 heated building area. However, the study concludes that scenarios including a ground source heat pump generate significantly higher global greenhouse gas emissions relative to scenarios including district heating. Furthermore, in a future fossil-free district heating and cooling system, a reduction in primary energy use will lead to a local reduction of emissions along with a positive effect on global greenhouse gas emissions, outperforming measures with a ground source heat pump. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Energy and Economic Impact on the Application of Low-Cost Lightweight Materials in Economic Housing Located in Dry Climates
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061586 - 15 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The building sector is considered a key area for sustainable development, due to the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the numerous economic activities that this sector involves. A low-cost lightweight cementitious composite consisting in perlite mortar was fabricated and evaluated. The [...] Read more.
The building sector is considered a key area for sustainable development, due to the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the numerous economic activities that this sector involves. A low-cost lightweight cementitious composite consisting in perlite mortar was fabricated and evaluated. The thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the proposed composite were tested in the laboratory. The lightweight composite was integrated into a prototypical house and its thermal performance was tested for two different arid climates during a typical meteorological year. A techno-economic analysis of this integration was carried out, which showed the lightweight system integration could reduce the energy demand up to 10.3% due to the decreased use of heating and cooling systems. The CO2 emissions associated with electricity and gas use on cooling and heating systems could be reduced up to 10.9%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heating and Cooling Performance of Office Buildings with a-Si BIPV Windows Considering Operating Conditions in Temperate Climates: The Case of Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4856; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124856 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study analyzed the heating and cooling performance of an office building in Daegu, Korea, equipped with amorphous-Si (a-Si) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows. EnergyPlus was used to simulate and compare the heating and cooling loads of models for clear glass double-layer, heat-absorbing glass [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the heating and cooling performance of an office building in Daegu, Korea, equipped with amorphous-Si (a-Si) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows. EnergyPlus was used to simulate and compare the heating and cooling loads of models for clear glass double-layer, heat-absorbing glass double-layer, and low-emissivity (low-e) glass double-layer windows. In addition, the impact of changes in building operation time, temperature settings, air infiltration from the entrances, and internal load were also analyzed as these all have a large impact on heating and cooling loads. Finally, three types of heating and cooling equipment were tested, and their power and primary energy consumption analyzed, to determine the actual energy used. Under baseline conditions, there was an 18.2% reduction in heating and cooling loads when the BIPV model was used compared to when the clear glass double-layer window was used. In addition, increases in temperature settings and air infiltration from the entrances had a negative effect on the reduction of the heating and cooling loads demonstrating a need for intensive management of these features if a-Si BIPV windows are installed in a building. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Metamodel to Predict Cooling Energy Consumption of HVAC Systems in Office Buildings in Different Climates
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4718; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124718 - 11 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The use of energy for space cooling is growing faster than any other end use in buildings, justifying the search for improvements in the energy efficiency of these systems. A simplified model to predict cooling energy consumption in Brazilian office buildings was developed. [...] Read more.
The use of energy for space cooling is growing faster than any other end use in buildings, justifying the search for improvements in the energy efficiency of these systems. A simplified model to predict cooling energy consumption in Brazilian office buildings was developed. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) were trained from consumption data obtained by building simulation. As it is intended to be applicable to different climates, a new climate indicator also appropriate for hot and humid climates was proposed and validated. The Sobol sensibility analysis was performed to reduce the number of input factors and thus the number of cases to be simulated. The data was built with the simulation of 250,000 cases in Energyplus. Studies were conducted to define the sample size to be used for the ANN training, as well as to define the best ANN architecture. The developed metamodel was used to predict the consumption of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system of 66,300 new unseen cases. The results showed that the new proposed climate indicator was more accurate than the usual climate correlations, such as cooling degree hours. The developed metamodel presented good performance when predicting annual HVAC consumption of the cases used to obtain the model (R2 = 0.9858 and NRMSE = 0.068) and also of the unseen cases (R2 = 0.9789 and NRMSE = 0.064). Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Building Integrated Shading and Building Applied Photovoltaic System Assessment in the Energy Performance and Thermal Comfort of Office Buildings
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124670 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Non-residential and more specifically office buildings are, nowadays, an integral part of the building stock and milestones of urban areas in most of the developed and developing countries all over the world. Compared to other building types, office buildings present some of the [...] Read more.
Non-residential and more specifically office buildings are, nowadays, an integral part of the building stock and milestones of urban areas in most of the developed and developing countries all over the world. Compared to other building types, office buildings present some of the highest specific energy consumption rates. In the present study, a typical nine-story office is assessed for a number of different building integrated retrofitting measures. Measurements of indoor environmental conditions were used in order to validate the developed simulation model of the building in EnergyPlus. Then, a number of different building integration options for photovoltaic systems and shading options are examined, in order to evaluate the best option in terms of indoor air quality, thermal comfort and energy consumption. The amount of electricity produced can meet 65% of the building’s annual electricity requirements, while the shading options can reduce energy requirements by as much as 33%. Although this in not a value that can be dismissed easily, it becomes clear that further—and more deeply aiming—measures are needed, if the building is to achieve near zero energy status. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Advanced Dimming Control Algorithm for Sustainable Buildings by Daylight Responsive Dimming System
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4087; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114087 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate the accuracy and energy savings of a daylight responsive dimming system (DRDS) when considering the influence of indirect illuminance. In the case of the existing DRDS, during the calibration process of each luminaire, the other luminaires were turned [...] Read more.
This study aims to evaluate the accuracy and energy savings of a daylight responsive dimming system (DRDS) when considering the influence of indirect illuminance. In the case of the existing DRDS, during the calibration process of each luminaire, the other luminaires were turned off to detect the illuminance of both the luminaire and the incoming daylight. However, the work plane illuminance under the luminaires was affected by the indirect illuminance from the other luminaires. The final work plane illuminance would thus be higher than the target illuminance during real system operation. To improve the accuracy and energy savings of the DRDS, an improved dimming control algorithm was applied to the DRDS when considering the influence of indirect illuminance. The real-time power consumption and accuracy of the target illuminance of the DRDS when considering the influence of indirect illuminance in a full-scale mock-up was measured and analyzed (for 23 days, from 22 June to 18 July 2018). As a result, the average accuracy of the target illuminance was 98.9% (SD 0.5%), and the average saving in lighting energy was 77%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Daylight Performance of Classrooms in a Mediterranean School Heritage Building
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3705; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103705 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
In school buildings, natural light has considerable physiological benefits, and increases energy efficiency while reducing the operational energy consumption of buildings. It is thus crucial to maximize the amount of daylight, as well as to improve its quality, in educational premises. In Italy [...] Read more.
In school buildings, natural light has considerable physiological benefits, and increases energy efficiency while reducing the operational energy consumption of buildings. It is thus crucial to maximize the amount of daylight, as well as to improve its quality, in educational premises. In Italy and other European countries, many historic buildings are reused as school buildings, changing their original function. This process of adaptive reusing is one method for conserving heritage buildings, however sometimes this process sacrifices the quality of daylight and well being of pupils. It has therefore become apparent that it is difficult to reconcile the cultural value of historic buildings with comfort standards. This study aimed to investigate the natural lighting performance of a school located in an historic building, and proposes different technological solutions to improve the visual comfort in classrooms whilst also respecting the cultural value of built heritage. Daylight performance was carried out in a representative classroom in the ‘Caserma Gaetano Abela’, an historical building located in Siracusa (Italy). A daylight model built in Radiance was first validated against an illuminance measurement campaign, and was then used to run detailed dynamic simulations. Climate Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM) metrics were used to show the achievable improvements in visual comfort conditions by means of proposed retrofit interventions. These interventions may also be used in other areas of southern Europe with similar climatic and constructive/distributive characteristics of architectural heritage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Building Retrofit Measures and Design: A Probabilistic Approach for LCA
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103655 - 12 Oct 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Green building design and architecture have become widespread tenets in the development of sustainable buildings. In this context, the use of sustainable materials and the awareness of resource/energy consumption are strategic aspects to consider for the improvement of building performances. This paper presents [...] Read more.
Green building design and architecture have become widespread tenets in the development of sustainable buildings. In this context, the use of sustainable materials and the awareness of resource/energy consumption are strategic aspects to consider for the improvement of building performances. This paper presents a new and structured approach to address uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to support the decision-making process in building renovation. This “probabilistic” approach to LCA allows for the obtaining of results expressed as ranges of environmental impacts and for alternative solutions, offering an idea of the meaning of input parameters’ uncertainties and their influence on the result. The approach includes (i) the assessment of inputs’ uncertainties (represented by Probability Density Functions—PDF); (ii) the data sampling; and (iii) the uncertainty propagation (Monte Carlo method). Variance decomposition techniques have been used to sample inputs’ PDFs and assess their impact on the LCA result distribution (sensitivity analysis). The methodology application is illustrated through a case study where three building retrofit measures were assessed. Results provide an insight about the uncertainties of LCA indicators in terms of climate change and nonrenewable energy. The input parameters related to the use phase are confirmed as the most influential in building LCA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Earth-Sheltered House: A Case Study of Dobraca Village House near Kragujevac, Serbia
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3629; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103629 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents the case study of the authors’ design of the earth-sheltered house in Village Dobraca near Kragujevac, Serbia, in the context of development and some thermal properties of the underground housing. The historical insight, in brief, provides a better understanding of [...] Read more.
This paper presents the case study of the authors’ design of the earth-sheltered house in Village Dobraca near Kragujevac, Serbia, in the context of development and some thermal properties of the underground housing. The historical insight, in brief, provides a better understanding of the reasons for their modern use as energy efficient and sustainable structures. It shows that underground houses even today are more thermally efficient than above ground houses since, besides earth, there is no need for new additional thermal layers. The article also includes a review of the representative physical forms of the underground housing through different periods, with the result of measurement of their main properties. The study of the underground housing structures provides an insight of the relation between the location and typology of underground homes in a contest of climate zones. These structures have an almost constant temperature, which provides the primary “comfort” condition in which the man is determined to live in. The results on property-based monitoring data showed that the earth-sheltered house could provide the thermal comfort that is close to the ideal human needs temperature. Today, the new materials and especially the solar, geothermal, and wind accessories, enables the maximum sustainability of these specific building structures and provides them with an even better energy efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of the Thermal Comfort Models on the Prediction of Building Energy Consumption
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3609; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103609 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
Building energy assessment software/programs use various assumptions and types of thermal comfort models to forecast energy consumption. This paper compares the results of using two major thermal comfort models (adaptive thermal comfort and the predicted mean vote (PMV) adjusted by the expectancy factor) [...] Read more.
Building energy assessment software/programs use various assumptions and types of thermal comfort models to forecast energy consumption. This paper compares the results of using two major thermal comfort models (adaptive thermal comfort and the predicted mean vote (PMV) adjusted by the expectancy factor) to examine their influence on the prediction of the energy consumption for several full-scale housing experimental modules constructed on the campus of the University of Newcastle, Australia. Four test modules integrating a variety of walling types (insulated cavity brick (InsCB), cavity brick (CB), insulated reverse brick veneer (InsRBV), and insulated brick veneer (InsBV)) were used for comparing the time necessary for cooling and heating to maintain internal thermal comfort for both models. This research paper exhibits the benefits of adopting the adaptive thermal model for building structures. It shows the effectiveness of this model in helping to reduce energy consumption, increasing the thermal comfort level for the buildings, and therefore reducing greenhouse emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multicriteria Assessment of Combined Heat and Power Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093240 - 11 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper presented a multicriteria assessment model for evaluating the performance of combined heat and power systems. Interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy numbers were used for representing the subjective and imprecise assessments of the decision maker in evaluating the relative importance of the criteria, and [...] Read more.
This paper presented a multicriteria assessment model for evaluating the performance of combined heat and power systems. Interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy numbers were used for representing the subjective and imprecise assessments of the decision maker in evaluating the relative importance of the criteria, and the performance of individual combined heat and power systems. An effective algorithm was developed based on the concept of ideal solutions for calculating the overall performance index, for each combined heat and power system across all criteria. An example was presented to demonstrate the applicability of the multicriteria assessment model, for dealing with real world combined heat and power system performance evaluation problems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Usability of the EPC Tools for the Profitability Calculation of a Retrofitting in a Residential Building
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3159; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093159 - 04 Sep 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
After the oil crisis in the 70s energy regulation codes were implemented, but a great portion of existing dwellings have not been retrofitted to current requirements. To face this issue several actions were taken in the European Union (EU), among these, the implementation [...] Read more.
After the oil crisis in the 70s energy regulation codes were implemented, but a great portion of existing dwellings have not been retrofitted to current requirements. To face this issue several actions were taken in the European Union (EU), among these, the implementation of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), which include a Recommendation List of Measures (RLMs) to retrofit buildings. Some concerns exist about the lack of confidence on these recommendations. The main objective of this study is to analyze the usefulness of the EPC, answering if it is possible to deliver a realistic financial assessment about renovation strategies using these tools. The study is based on three indicators: Consumption, energy saving variations and profitability. The study is based on a renovation project case study, where simulations and Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA) were performed, in order to identify the different results that EPC’s and an energy efficiency assessment could lead to. The results show important differences in all the concepts evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Demand Patterns in an Office Building: A Case Study in Kraków (Southern Poland)
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2901; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082901 - 16 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Office buildings play a significant role in shaping the current electricity demand and its trends. Their energy demand patterns impact the power system operation on a national and regional level. What is more, both (office buildings and the power system) are also simultaneously [...] Read more.
Office buildings play a significant role in shaping the current electricity demand and its trends. Their energy demand patterns impact the power system operation on a national and regional level. What is more, both (office buildings and the power system) are also simultaneously influenced by meteorological parameters. Considering the above, the aim of this paper is to analyze a three-year hourly energy demand time series recorded in a relatively large office building in Kraków (Southern Poland). This paper will fill a gap in the literature as there is a lack of evidence from Central European countries in the area of office buildings’ energy demand and its relationship with meteorological parameters. The data was obtained from a local electricity provider whereas meteorological parameters came from weather station and satellite measurements. The analyses focused on determining the typical weekly and daily demand patterns as well as on investigating the correlation between meteorological parameters (wind speed, irradiation, humidity, and air temperature) and observed energy consumption. To estimate the correlation between investigated variables, a Pearson coefficient of correlation was used. For distinguishing typical load patterns, a k-means clustering method was applied. The relationship between meteorological parameters and load was also tested based on multiple linear regression analysis. The results indicated that energy demand had a relatively strong positive correlation with irradiation and with temperature and a negative one with humidity. The correlation with wind speed was not greater than 0.25. Dividing the data into three subsets shows that energy demand generally exhibits a stronger correlation with meteorological parameters on working days. Additionally, clustering analysis has shown that it is possible to distinguish three typical daily patterns of energy demand and meteorological parameters that correspond to a hot/warm day, cold days and days that are intermediary between those two. The regression analysis showed that meteorological parameters can explain/model a significant part of the load variability (up to 50%) although the quality of such models is relatively poor (in terms of mean absolute percentage error the best model exhibited a value of 16%). The results of this study can be used as a benchmark for similar office buildings that received the same level of sustainability certification, or in the future analysis of climate change impact on power demand. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Costs and Benefits of Implementing Green Building Economic Incentives: Case Study of a Gross Floor Area Concession Scheme in Hong Kong
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2814; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082814 - 08 Aug 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Economic incentives are widely used to promote green buildings (GB) and consume social resources. However, few studies evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing economic incentives, including hidden costs and benefits. This paper applies cost–benefits analysis (CBA) and transaction cost (TC) theory to [...] Read more.
Economic incentives are widely used to promote green buildings (GB) and consume social resources. However, few studies evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing economic incentives, including hidden costs and benefits. This paper applies cost–benefits analysis (CBA) and transaction cost (TC) theory to systematically evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing the green building economic incentives, with focused study on the Gross Floor Area (GFA) Concession Scheme in Hong Kong. The data of costs and benefits indicate how the GFA Concession Scheme motivates stakeholders and how much it benefits the built environment, which provides a solid foundation for the improvement of the GFA Concession Scheme. Expert interviews were conducted to verify and compliment the new CBA framework and provide empirical evidence for policy-makers and researchers to better understand the allocation of costs and benefits. The results show that the effectiveness of the GFA Concession Scheme is readily justified even if it has caused a lot of extra transaction costs and actual costs. A 10% GFA concession attracts developers to enter the GB market but discourages them to go for a higher level of GB. It is the right time to differentiate the GFA concession to promote a higher level of GB. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Daylighting and Energy Performance Evaluation of an Egg-Crate Device for Hospital Building Retrofitting in a Mediterranean Climate
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2714; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082714 - 02 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Hospital buildings present a significant savings potential in order to meet the objectives of H2020. The improvement of healthcare built environments contributes to improving the health of patients. In this respect, passive measurements must be prioritized, especially in relation to the weakest element [...] Read more.
Hospital buildings present a significant savings potential in order to meet the objectives of H2020. The improvement of healthcare built environments contributes to improving the health of patients. In this respect, passive measurements must be prioritized, especially in relation to the weakest element of the building thermal enclosure: the window opening. Shading devices allow solar radiation and indoor temperature to be controlled, as well as improving visual comfort, mostly in buildings with a Mediterranean climate. This factor is of great importance when considering the increase in outdoor temperatures expected due to climate change. Unlike other studies in which predictive models are implemented, this paper examines a methodology based on the simultaneous monitoring of ambient variables, in real use and operative conditions, for two hospital rooms located in southern Spain. The aim of this research is to provide a comparative assessment of ambient conditions in a standard room with an egg-crate device and in a non-shaded one. The use of an egg-crate device allows a better yearly performance, improving natural illuminance levels, reducing incident solar radiation on the window, and decreasing artificial lighting consumption. However, its efficiency is greatly conditioned by the user patterns in relation to ambient systems, as the blind aperture level and the activation of the lighting system are directly controlled by users. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Thermal Characterization and Performance Metrics of Building Envelopes Containing Phase Change Materials for Energy-Efficient Buildings
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082657 - 28 Jul 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Residential and commercial buildings consume nearly 40 percent of total USA energy use and account for one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions. The challenges are how to effectively promote energy efficiency in buildings to respond to the high financial burden of energy consumption, [...] Read more.
Residential and commercial buildings consume nearly 40 percent of total USA energy use and account for one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions. The challenges are how to effectively promote energy efficiency in buildings to respond to the high financial burden of energy consumption, while reducing pollution. Phase change materials (PCMs) have been used as passive energy storage for building systems. Along this vein, this study aims to numerically elucidate the design parameters of building envelopes strengthened by PCM layers, and unveil their impacts on building energy efficiency. Critical design variables, such as the thickness of the PCM layer, the latent heat of PCMs, or melting temperature of PCMs were selected for a parametric study, while performance metrics were used to assess building efficiency. Results revealed that PCM-enabled building walls exhibited different levels of improvement, in terms of reduction of peak temperature and temperature swings. Among the variables, the selection of the proper melting point for a PCM was identified as the most crucial parameter for determining building energy efficiency, while the heat of fusion was also observed as a critical property of PCM for building potential. Findings also demonstrated that the placement of the PCM near the interior wall surface could achieve higher efficiency, as compared to other cases. Results also showed that the thermal conductivity of PCM has a minimum contribution to energy storage capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Adaptive Comfort Models in Execution Cost Improvements for Housing Thermal Environment in Concepción, Chile
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072368 - 08 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Most of the operational energy needed by the housing sector is used to compensate energy losses or thermal gains through the building’s envelope. As a result, any improvement in the thermal behavior will provide important opportunities to reduce energy consumption. This research analyzes [...] Read more.
Most of the operational energy needed by the housing sector is used to compensate energy losses or thermal gains through the building’s envelope. As a result, any improvement in the thermal behavior will provide important opportunities to reduce energy consumption. This research analyzes improvements in the thermal envelope in social housing in the Greater Concepción area in Chile using adaptive thermal comfort models and thermal insulation investments. The objective set out is to evaluate the economic reduction of thermal envelope improvement costs for dwellings, which entails using the adaptive thermal comfort model obtained through monitoring and the surveys applied to the users of social housing in Concepción (CAS), against the international adaptive thermal comfort models established by the EN 15251:2007 and ASHRAE 55-2017 standards. Finally, it is concluded that, on having applied the social housing adaptive thermal comfort model (CAS), execution costs are reduced by between 28.8% and 58.2%, reaching a time of comfort in free oscillation similar to that obtained from applying the models of the EN 15251:2007 (74.2%) and ASHRAE 55-2017 standards (59.9%). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Significance of a Building’s Energy Consumption Profiles for the Optimum Sizing of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System—A Case Study for a Student Residence Hall
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2069; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062069 - 19 Jun 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
University buildings, such as student residence halls with year-round consistent energy demands, offer strong opportunities for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. The economic and environmental feasibility of a CHP project is strongly linked with its optimum sizing. This study aims to undertake [...] Read more.
University buildings, such as student residence halls with year-round consistent energy demands, offer strong opportunities for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. The economic and environmental feasibility of a CHP project is strongly linked with its optimum sizing. This study aims to undertake such an assessment for a CHP system for a student residence hall located in London, the United Kingdom (UK). The study also aims to undertake a sensitivity analysis to investigate the effect of different parameters on the project’s economics. Necessary data are collected via interviews with the University’s Energy Manager. Modeling of the CHP system is performed using the London South Bank University (LSBU, London, the UK) CHP model. Results demonstrate that optimum sizing of CHP is crucial for achieving higher economic and environmental benefits and strongly depends on the authenticity of the energy consumption data, based on which the CHP is being sized. Use of incorrect energy data could result in an undersized or oversized CHP system, where an oversized system will result in higher negative results compared to an undersized system. Finally, Monto Carlo statistical analysis shows that electricity price is the significant factor that could affect the project’s economics. With an increasing spark gap, the payback period decreases, and vice versa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Energy Sustainable Operations on a Historical Building. The Dante Alighieri High School in Florence
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062054 - 17 Jun 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Italy has a huge cultural heritage, most of which consists of historical buildings that have changed their original function and use over time. The complex question of building and plant system refurbishment and retrofitting mainly derives from this crucial aspect. The aim of [...] Read more.
Italy has a huge cultural heritage, most of which consists of historical buildings that have changed their original function and use over time. The complex question of building and plant system refurbishment and retrofitting mainly derives from this crucial aspect. The aim of this paper is to provide a simple provisional tool useful for the assessment of efficient, energy sustainable refurbishment solutions for historical buildings and their plant systems. The Dante Alighieri high school (with an important music department) in Florence was the case study. We proposed a method based on dynamic simulations that allows plant design guarantying indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort, as well as energy efficiency, but, at the same time offering reversibility and mobility as well as ease of management and maintenance. Transient simulations of building-plant system were specifically addressed dynamic control and adaptive proportional regulation, so as to ensure that the plant adapts to the change of building and indoor environment thermo-physics and thermo-hygrometric parameters. Results showed that important refurbishment and retrofitting operations for energy saving are possible and effective for historical buildings if they are oriented to sustainability—i.e., low environmental impact, indoor thermo-hygrometric conditions, ventilation, air quality, and user wellbeing improvement—in compliance with preventive protection constraints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimum Size Selection of CHP Retrofitting in Existing UK Hotel Building
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062044 - 17 Jun 2018
Abstract
Several studies have highlighted Combine Heat and Power (CHP) systems to be one of the proven and reliable technologies that can improve the efficiency of heat and electricity generation. The extensive adoption of this type of technology is crucial in reducing building emissions [...] Read more.
Several studies have highlighted Combine Heat and Power (CHP) systems to be one of the proven and reliable technologies that can improve the efficiency of heat and electricity generation. The extensive adoption of this type of technology is crucial in reducing building emissions globally and in the U.K. This work uses a dynamic simulation software to evaluate the effect of CHP on the energy performance of an existing U.K. hotel and subsequently an approach to aid in the selection of optimum CHP size. The outcome of the study indicated that CHP systems in hotel buildings can provide considerable economic and environmental benefits with either maximally-sized CHP founded on the building’s base heat demand or with reduced CHP size of more than 50% smaller than the estimated maximum size. The optimum size design can be obtained through evaluation of the relationship between the main performance parameters and their variation with CHP sizes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic Performance of a New Type of Fabricated Tie-Column
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061716 - 24 May 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The reinforced concrete (RC) frames infilled with masonry walls are widely used in buildings. It has been well recognized that the arrangement of tie-columns can improve the wall integrity and seismic performance. However, the existing cast-in-situ tie-column (CSTC) has some problems, and a [...] Read more.
The reinforced concrete (RC) frames infilled with masonry walls are widely used in buildings. It has been well recognized that the arrangement of tie-columns can improve the wall integrity and seismic performance. However, the existing cast-in-situ tie-column (CSTC) has some problems, and a new type of fabricated tie-column (FTC) which can be recycled for secondary use is proposed in this study. Two specimens, the wall constrained by the cast-in-situ tie-columns (W-CSTC) and the wall constrained by the fabricated tie-columns (W-FTC), were designed and constructed. Low cyclic loading tests were carried out and some parameters, such as the failure modes, hysteretic curves and so forth, were used to evaluate the applicability of the FTC. The results show the W-FTC has a certain initial stiffness and strength, favorable deformation capacity, and the FTC can not only enhance the wall integrity to meet the functional requirements of tie-columns, but also solve the connection problems and reduce the adverse effects on the frame structure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Ground-Source Variable Refrigerant Flow System for U.S. Office Buildings
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1621; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051621 - 18 May 2018
Abstract
This paper evaluates the energy performance of ground-source variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems to condition office buildings located in various U.S. climates. Specifically, the performance of the ground-source VRF systems was determined and evaluated against that achieved by conventional space heating and cooling [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates the energy performance of ground-source variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems to condition office buildings located in various U.S. climates. Specifically, the performance of the ground-source VRF systems was determined and evaluated against that achieved by conventional space heating and cooling systems, including packaged terminal air-conditioners (PTACs), water-source heat pumps (WSHPs), ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), and water-source VRF systems. A comparative analysis shows that ground-source VRF systems require significantly lower source energy uses than other heating and cooling systems in all U.S. climates, ranging from 21% to 50% for PTACs, from 36% to 52% for WSHPs, from 22% to 49% for GSHPs, and from 4% to 19% for water-source VRFs. These results indicate that ground-source VRFs can be suitable heating and cooling systems for all U.S. climates when designing high-energy-performance commercial buildings. Full article
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